Recent Tea Posts

How Feng Shui, Money Frogs & The Tea Drinking Environment Are Related

How Feng Shui, Money Frogs & The Tea Drinking Environment Are Related

If you’ve ever seen a traditional Chinese tea ceremony setting, you probably noticed these little money frogs on the tea table. These money frogs are known as ‘tea pets’. Besides these money frogs, tea pets are also available in other forms such as buddhas/monks and […]

Tea Related Names for Cats, Dogs & Other Pets

Tea Related Names for Cats, Dogs & Other Pets

You might wonder how we came up with such a weird topic. The truth is, we didn’t come up with this idea at all. See for example this Reddit post or this Yahoo Answers page, and you can see that tea names for cats and […]

Highly Concentrated Tea Industry Is Destroying Communities

Highly Concentrated Tea Industry Is Destroying Communities

There’s only a dozen giant tea companies in the world that control the tea supply chain, driving down wages and destroying communities.

These dominant companies have delivered great results to their shareholders, but their success is damaging the tea economy. In today’s market, it’s the winners that take it all and leave a mess for the rest to clean up.

Without mentioning the brands, these firms have fantastic brands, great packaging and excellent service. Though it sounds great to consumers, there’s a downside. They’ve large bargaining power that allows them to drive down wages and increasing inequality.

But that’s not it. These companies enjoy economies of scale and lobby with governments for subsidies, regulatory favours and tax breaks. And this highly prevents entrepreneurship. To reduce competition further, they acquire potential rivals to continue control the distribution channels.

With a few companies in the game, these companies together act more like a cartel instead of competitors.

So what’s the problem? For hundreds of years economists and policy makers ignored the increase in concentration in the tea industry. As long as consumers weren’t harmed, they kind of ignored it.

But even that’s not true. Consumers today have less choice. Teas we buy are a blend of raw material from different countries. Large companies don’t value diversity, they value consistency. So the consumer has less choice. Moreover, farmers won’t work hard to improve the taste, but focus on driving down cost. There tea will end up as a small part of a blend anyways.

In conclusion, the winner takes all tea industry is making losers out of tea growers and communities. We need more competition, and find a way to allow individual growers to shine!

If you’re a grower what can you do about it?

Luckily technological developments have allowed growers to avoid the large corporations and sell directory to consumers or local distributors like tea shops and small businesses. As a tea grower, here’s what you can do:

  • Unionise and bargain together for a better deal
  • Diversify your distribution channels by sell online through a webshop or online platforms
  • Create a brand that consumers will love
  • Innovate through packaging
  • Be transparent about your teas (where is it from, which season, why is it unique?
  • Focus on producing high quality and unique teas
Pu Erh Tea Mountains Map!

Pu Erh Tea Mountains Map!

Ever wondered where all these ancients pu erh mountains are located? Check out the below map of China’s Yunnan province:

Starbucks Tries It Again, Starts Selling Milk Tea in China

Starbucks Tries It Again, Starts Selling Milk Tea in China

One time I walked into a Starbucks in China and found that they’re selling authentic Chinese tea such as Biluochun green tea and Jasmine tea in tins. I found it strange, since Starbucks wouldn’t be my place to buy real tea. I don’t think most Chinese […]

5 Zongzi Recipe Videos You’ll Love

5 Zongzi Recipe Videos You’ll Love

Dragon Boat Festival is just around the corner, and you might want to make some delicious zongzi. It’s a kind of dumpling made from sticky rice and different ingredients wrapped in a bamboo leaves.

Making zongzi is never boring as there are so many great recipes out there. We’ve watched tons of videos on YouTube to discover the best ones, and they’re shared with you right below.

Salty Pork Zongzi

Angel Wong is sharing her secret zongzi recipe with you in this video. She recommends ingredients such as pork, Chinese sausage, peanuts, chestnuts, salty egg, dried mushrooms, dried shallots. It’s a great video as all the steps are carefully explained in detail.

Salty Chicken Zongzi

Another great video! The style is completely different than the previous video. There’s no voice, but the steps are demonstrated in clear detail with positive background music. The recipe uses chicken in

stead of pork and it seems to get some nice seasoning with anise and cinnamon. The use of dried shrimps also looks promising.

Sweet Red Bean Zongzi Recipe

Prefer sweet instead of salty? You’re not the only one. In China, especially the Northern regions love sweet zongzi such as this red bean dumpling.

Making Zongzi/Joong with Family!

The recipe of this video is quite similar to the previous ones that explain how to make a salty zongzi. Yet, this video is amazing because it shares more background information about the Dragon Boat Festival and why it’s so much fun to make zongzi together with family!

Taiwanese Zongzi Recipe

Do you need to make a zongzi that’s super authentically Taiwanese? Then watch this one:

Now you know how to cook zongzi! You can stick to the instructions in the above videos or improve and make your own ones. After all, glutinous rice goes well with lots of ingredients.

 

Zongzi: Which Type of Sticky Rice Dumpling Do You Prefer?

Zongzi: Which Type of Sticky Rice Dumpling Do You Prefer?

The Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu Festival) falls on every 5th day of the 5th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It’s therefore also known as the ‘double fifth festival’. On the Western calendar, it falls on the 30th of May this year (2017). What is […]

Tea Pics: Xi Gui Pu Erh Tea Tasting

Tea Pics: Xi Gui Pu Erh Tea Tasting

Today I got some amazing samples from a tea farmer in Yunnan. It’s a 2017 Xi Gui sheng pu erh tea. Checkout some pictures below of the wet leaves and tea colour. It brews a delicious flowery flavour.

Green Tea And Coconut Oil?

Green Tea And Coconut Oil?

You’ve probably heard about it. People putting spoons of coconut oil in their tea, saying that it will help health and help them lose weight. But is Green tea with coconut oil really worth the hype?

Green Tea and Coconut Oil for Weight Loss?

Nutritional Therapist Daniel O’Shaughnessy, known for his blog “the naked nutritionist”, claims that it has numerous health benefits and can be useful in diet, even going so far as giving the mixture the moniker “Bulletproof Green Tea”.

This superman of a beverage contains high levels of antioxidants and there has been research whether it has effect on weight loss or aging.  Coconut oil is, as critics have stated, saturated fat but it also source of medium chain fatty acids, which has been linked to many health benefits including increasing metabolism.

Coconut oil also contains Lauric Acid which has been shown to benefit immunity to disease and to bone health. Green tea with a tablespoon of Coconut oil, or “Bulletproof Green Tea”, can help curb appetite and maybe help prime the body to burn fat.

Miranda Kerr, an australian model, is a known user of coconut oil in her diet  is reported to have said,

“I will not go a day without coconut oil. I personally take four tablespoons per day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my cups of green tea.”

Side Effects?

In response to her claim, many doctors, including the World Health Organization have deemed this degree of coconut oil as risky. It is saturated and those doctors make the claim that this consumption of saturated fat may lead to coronary problems.

There are definitely two schools of thought in terms of coconut oil. One, that because it is indeed and oil and a fat – believe it should not be made part of a daily diet and could be replaced by other things in your diet by other things – maybe even cracking out that dark chocolate bar.

The other side cites that the high quantity of lauric acid in coconut oil and that the oil is converted into immediate energy, not fat, outweighs any negative effects, if any.

Whatever school you find yourself in, coconut oil in your tea is definitely something to try. You may not come out of it looking like Miranda Kerr, but with something cool enough to be called “bulletproof”, why not give this super tea a try? All you need to do is brew that mug of green tea and put a spoon of coconut oil in it – and you’re ready to rock out and next time you’ll  be bulletproof.

Coconut Oil in Tea for Sore Throat

Green tea in itself can be great to fight sore throat. It reduces inflammation which is often the cause of a sore throat. Adding coconut oil will even improve the effect, as it further soothes your throat.

Green Tea and Coconut Oil for Hair

It’s true that certain herbal teas, such as rosemary tea, is good for a hair rinse. There’s no scientific proof though that green tea also works. I can imagine that coconut oil could work, but there’s also no proof for this for now.

Green Tea and Coconut Oil Face Mask

This is an excellent idea as green tea contains anti-oxidants that’s great for skin, while the coconut oil further ads vitamins for a healthy skin. We highly recommend to use matcha powder though instead of loose leaves or tea bags.

Simply mix 1/2 tablespoon matcha powder with 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil and 1/2 tablespoon of water. Stir it until it’s well mixed and apply it on your face. Now relax for 20 minutes and wash it off!

Genome in Tea Responsible For Tea Taste

Genome in Tea Responsible For Tea Taste

A recent article published on cell.com reveals that a certain genome in tea is responsible for its taste and health benefits. The scientists present a genome sequence for cultivated tea plants. This sequence provides a foundation for uncovering the genetic basis of important traits that […]